Yesterday, we learned that Ford was planning to create 1200 new jobs in the state of Michigan. GM and Chrysler also announced job plans.

This morning I learned the truth: they planned to create those new jobs if they got certain tax breaks.

Sure is a nice state ya got here, Miz Granholm. Sure would be a shame if somethin should happen to it.”

Seeing as Ford’s profit in just the last three months was $1.7 billion ($1700 million if you prefer), why do they deserve such a tax break at the expense of the everyday people who pay taxes? Don’t you suppose the tax break given to the large and newly profitable again auto manufacturers could do a lot towards fixing Michigan’s abysmal roads and Detroit’s crumbling infrastructure? Perhaps it would be easier to balance Michigan’s budget if they didn’t have to play tax games with their biggest taxpayers.

Of course every state and many municipalities have to play this game, and corporations are more than happy to play us off one another, threatening to pick up their factories and stores and go somewhere else if they don’t get their way. And since Congress is a wholly owned subsidiary of Big Business, we can’t expect them to level the playing field for us. All we can do is sit back and hope our state and local politicians don’t screw us too hard in the name of “economic development” that may never materialize.

In Closing: How will they make enough money without bubbles to inflate??; college degrees by county; growth, accidents, and the poisoning of the Gulf of Mexico; the ACLU finally caught up to me on this one; I agree; how about we stop doing things we aren’t proud of instead?; Paul is Dead; and a novel way to get crime tips.

Shorties’ Ladder

San Bruno: Admittedly, before this tragic explosion, San Bruno was mostly a BART stop to me. But one thing is very clear to me: we have got to stop waiting until bridges collapse and pipelines explode to make sure our infrastructure is in adequate condition! And here’s a little hint to politicians: You actually have to hire people to build and repair things like pipelines, roads, and bridges. Better yet, quality infrastructure makes it easier for the private sector to create jobs when these projects are completed! By the way, did anybody notice that PG&E are only committing to paying up if it is found to be their fault? Um yeah, I think Allstate and State Farm will see to it that they pay. Here’s video of the explosion taken at a nearby gas station.

Health Insurance Reform isn’t over yet: Premiums are still rising quite a lot faster than inflation, and insurers claim that this is because they are paying out more money (probably because certain shady practices had to be stopped). Meanwhile, there is one provision that must get changed. However, the Senate failed twice today to get it passed. Under an obscure provision — that has nothing whatsoever to do with health care — small businesses would be forced to issue 1099 forms to any vendor with whom they purchased more than $600 worth of goods. Somehow it is claimed that this would raise $17,000,000,000 in taxes. I just can’t see how that works. After all, I get receipts from my brokerage and local NAR chapter documenting how much I paid them; why is my sending them notice that I indeed paid what they admit I paid going to generate money for anybody but my accountant?

On the Federal Budget and the Deficit thereof: So those bad old Tax-And-Spend Liberals managed to reduce the deficit 13%, with control of Congress (although their “control” of the Senate is a strange thing). At least Tax-And-Spend Liberals know you ought to have money before spending it. But do you think any Democrats are going to point this out on the campaign trail? Probably not. By the way, I can’t understand why CNN thinks it’s newsworthy that the Federal Budget isn’t done yet. This has happened pretty much every year for as long as I can remember. Of course the budget deficit would shrink quite a bit if we just let the Tax Cuts For People Who Don’t Need More Money expire. Even Moody’s says that giving the rick a tax break doesn’t do jack for the economy, and they’re paid to figure this stuff out. Frankly, if the only way to make that happen is to accept higher taxes myself next year, so be it. Let me get my damn checkbook.

A Few Items on Education: School breakfasts are the coming trend (couldn’t they eat something more healthy than sugary cereal and whole wheat donuts? Sorry it’s still deep fried cake). David Sirota on the educational bait and switch that has left our students unfit to do much more than putter on computers and pour lattes. Why college grads can’t write despite employers begging for literate employees that can write a freaking memo. And more than you really wanted to know about student loans.

A Few Items on Banking and Financial Reform: It looks like the international community is telling us that we will tighten up regs whether banks and Congress and Bernanke likes it or not. However, the holes in the regs look remarkably like cheese from the region where the rules are even now being hammered out. Meanwhile, the SEC is trying to prevent financial firms from hiding their debt. Funny, we’re still having this issue how many years after Enron? Meanwhile, it looks like President Obama is actually going to do the right thing and put in a recess appointment for Elizabeth Warren as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. That means there is a chance things will be done that favor Joe Average above the Banksters. Oh and one more thing: if banks are failing to pay the feds back, why exactly aren’t the feds foreclosing on their worthless hides?

Cops Hate Dogs: It amazes me that someone who is sworn to protect the people can have such a low regard for living beings. One must wonder if they even respect human life.

“But that’s a nose in the middle of your face!”: Even CNN is pointing out that simply assuming people are physically able to work until they are 70 is an unrealistic plan for “saving” Social Security.

Silver Lining on the Economy is just Aluminum Foil: The wage gap between men and women is shrinking. My take is that the bean-counters figure it’s more cost effective to lay off the high-wage man than the underpaid woman, with the long term effect being that wages in general are lower when it comes time to hire again.

It’s still Sugar: High Fructose Corn Syrup is being re-branded as “corn sugar.” That doesn’t change the fact that most research says it’s not good for you.

If you build it, they might come: It turns out that Fiats may be returning to the states. That is, if certain Chrysler dealers build special showrooms for them.

Happy Greenery Day!

Today is Midori No Hi, or Greenery Day. Originally celebrated in late April as the [previous] Emperor’s Birthday, Hirohito-sama’s love of nature prompted the current Emperor Akihito-sama to make it a permanent holiday celebrating the great outdoors. It is part of a “Golden Week” of holidays, so don’t plan on getting anything done with business associates in Japan this week.

Picture taken by the ShortWoman in April of 2007. It’s an Asian pear tree in blossom.

In Closing: Stuff you thought you would never hear the President say; the economy is a very different place depending on whether you are an American family or an American auto manufacturer; Tony Horton is the man (except when Henry Rollins is); the hole this school district is in keeps getting deeper; Would Jesus Be Accepted by the Conservatives?; Airline fees are out of hand; Just a few choice words about BP and the oil disaster in the Gulf; Porn Star saves man from prison; unHappy Mothers Day; look, it’s called the 5th Amendment and it applies to all Americans; Baseball players against racial profiling; Audit the Fed!; and two amusing items, I Shot the Serif and Nunderwear.